Courtroom Technology

The Bankruptcy Court offers the following technologies for use in several of our locations. If you are interested in using any of these technologies, please review the presiding Judge's Procedures page for information regarding notification. If you would like to preview your presentation or test your equipment prior to your scheduled hearing, please contact the courtroom clerk for scheduling. This is especially important if you have never used the equipment before.

Assisted Listening

Assisted listening headsets are available for use by those with hearing impairments and are available in Phoenix, Tucson and Prescott Valley. See the courtroom clerk upon entering the courtroom, to request a headset. If you will require multiple headsets for a hearing, it is recommended that you contact the courtroom clerk prior to your hearing date.

Electronic Case Information

Electronic Case Information is available via telephone, the Internet, or from the public services computers located in the Clerk's offices in Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Evidence Presentation

Full evidence presentation systems are available in Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Prescott and Flagstaff. These systems enable the judge or attorneys to display case documents and exhibits on courtroom monitors. Large courtroom monitors allow the public to follow the proceedings. Smaller monitors are located at the judge, witness, jury, lectern and attorney tables. The evidence presentation systems include a document camera used to display documents and three-dimensional objects and a DVD player; both are located within the lectern. Touch screen monitors at the lectern and witness bench allow an attorney or witness to annotate evidence displayed on courtroom monitors. Integrated video and audio inputs are also available to allow attorneys to display evidence from audiotape, videotape, CD-ROM, DVD or laptop computers via the courtroom monitors and sound system. When preparing your presentation, we recommend selecting landscape (horizontal) page format. This format fits the document camera and monitors the best. Use simple fonts and avoid fonts that are difficult to read. Use a font size of 20 point or greater and maintain at least a 1/2 inch border all around. Select bright, bold colors that contrast well with light backgrounds. You should also provide copies of your handouts to all parties, before the hearing. When using the document camera, you can avoid constantly re-aligning and re-focusing by following these guidelines. Staple pages together and tape the bottom page to the document camera. Zoom, rotate and focus using the first page, then simply turn the following pages when ready. If you experience a bleed-through of print from other pages, just insert a blank piece of paper between each page.

Kiosks

Kiosk systems are available in Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma, which display current court calendars for each judge. In Phoenix they are located on the 1st floor and in the waiting areas outside of each courtroom. In Tucson they are located in the Clerk's office on the 1st floor and each courtroom floor.  In Yuma they are located outside of each courtroom.

Teleconferencing

Teleconferencing permits off-site witnesses and attorneys to participate in a hearing by telephone and is available at all locations. Since the audio is broadcast over the courtroom sound system, it is recommended that you mute your telephone until your case is called. Use of cell phones and speaker phones should also be avoided due to poorer audio quality seen with these devices. Telephonic hearings must be coordinated in advance with the courtroom clerk for the presiding judge.

Video-Teleconferencing

Video-teleconferencing permits off-site witnesses and attorneys to participate in a trial or hearing by video and accommodates proceedings without the participating judge and attorneys physically present. These systems are available in all locations and can interconnect, via ISDN, with video systems external to the court. IP based calls can be accommodated through a bridging service, at the expense of the requesting party, unless other arrangements have been made with the court. Any external video-teleconference system will need to be tested with the court's system prior to the date of the hearing. Video-teleconferencing hearings must be coordinated in advance with the courtroom clerk for the presiding judge. When appearing by video, avoid wearing small, busy patterns which are difficult for the cameras to focus on. Solid vibrant or pastel colors send a clearer picture. Also, avoid ornate and flashy jewelry that may reflect light. If you are not appearing from one of our locations, check the lighting at your site and close any window shades to reduce any glare that may be picked up by your cameras.

Internet Access

Wired and wireless internet access is available, at no cost, in Phoenix and Tucson. This system was installed as part of a joint agreement between the Arizona State Bar, Bankruptcy Section and the court. Wireless access if available on the 1st floors and each courtroom floor.  Wired access is also available from the attorney conference rooms, use the jacks labeled "Internet." Wired internet access is not available in any courtroom.

Tips About Participating in an Electronically Recorded Courtroom

Proceedings in bankruptcy courtrooms are recorded using a digital recording system, which may be on at all times. This technology creates a verbatim record. The following practice tips are intended to help you make a clear recording of your proceeding, which is vital to the parties and judges if there are subsequent proceedings.

  • Upon speaking for the first time, identify yourself for the record. Spell your name and state whom you represent. This is important even if the other people in the courtroom know who you are. The person transcribing the record may not be familiar with particular attorneys or parties.
  • Give the clerk the correct spellings of unusual or technical names and vocabulary or words used by you or your witnesses that are frequently misunderstood, when known.
  • Speak clearly and audibly.
  • Only one person should speak at a time.
  • Avoid making noises when people are talking--coin jingling and paper riffling can be picked up and will cover up voices. Be sure that your cell phone or PDA is off in the courtroom.
  • Avoid talking when there is noise--wait until the courtroom is quiet to begin speaking.
  • The recording system can only pick up verbally spoken words. Avoid “uh huh” and gestures. Be sure that verbal responses are elicited from all witnesses.
  • When reading from a document, read slowly and clearly.
  • Avoid making any statements you do not want recorded. Use the mute button (if available) during client consultation; be sure the microphone is turned back on before speaking for the record.
  • Remain within arm's reach of a microphone at all times when speaking.
  • Avoid tapping on or striking the table or microphone.
  • To request a play-back of particular testimony or argument, the clerk will need to find the requested testimony without a printed record. If you know the approximate time when the pertinent statements were recorded, please tell the clerk.

 

The above tips were originally published on the website of the State of Maine Judicial Branch, and are reproduced here with permission.

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